Pure Harvest Smart Farms, an Abu Dhabi-based pioneer in controlled-environment agriculture (CEA), has signed a multi-year partnership with The Sultan Center (TSC), Kuwait’s leading supermarket and general merchandise retailer, which will see Pure Harvest build a dedicated greenhouse facility to deliver locally grown, premium quality fresh fruits and vegetables to TSC’s supermarkets across the country.
Currently, Middle Eastern countries currently import the majority of their produce, however Pure Harvest Smart Farms is developing greenhouses to boost agriculture in the desert and improve food security for the region. It designs, builds and operates high-tech, climate-controlled hybrid growing systems that convert the region’s abundant natural sunlight into premium quality, pesticide residue-free fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to its partnership with TSC, Pure Harvest is expanding its capacity in the United Arab Emirates and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“There has never been a more pressing time to invest in food innovation in the region,” said Khadija Oubala, CEO at TSC. “The region’s longstanding dependence on imports paired with growing demand for fresh produce highlight the importance of local farming. Pure Harvest is developing a state-of-the-art local farm that can provide organic fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm to TSC stores. We are committed to providing quality, variety, value and services that customers demand, and investing in homegrown fresh produce is the way forward.”
“This is a strategic win for us at Pure Harvest Smart Farms,” added said Sky Kurtz, co-founder and CEO of Pure Harvest Smart Farms. “We are grateful to be partnering with TSC, a market leader that fully embraces the value that a producer-retailer partnership brings and what we can do together to improve quality, variety and flavour for Kuwaiti consumers. We are delighted that our organic grown premium fresh fruits and vegetables produced just in Kuwait will be sold exclusively to The Sultan Center. We will also invest in a shared visitor’s center to host TSC’s customers, so that they may learn more about the future of farming and exactly how it is that we grow year-round in one of the harshest climates in the world. Through this partnership, together TSC and Pure Harvest further food security, water conservation, economic diversification and sustainability within Kuwait and the region.”
“We are investing heavily to reinvent our offering to better serve our customers,” said Nicolas Allan, TSC’s chief operating officer. “TSC’s commitment to this offtake partnership with Pure Harvest is designed to meet the demands of our customers to deliver premium quality, locally grown and pesticide residue-free fresh produce at affordable prices. We are investing before the growing system is built, which enables our partner to scale but also helps to eliminate waste in the value chain, including freight costs, which ultimately benefits our customers in the form of value-for-money. This project is emblematic of the many changes coming at TSC and we hope and believe that our customers will take notice that TSC is modernizing retail for Kuwaiti consumers and will continue to deliver value, as it has for the past 39 years that we have been serving this market.”
The deal with TSC follows Pure Harvest Smart Farms securing a multi-stage investment commitment in April valued at over US$100 million from Wafra International Investment Company, to further advance the research, development and deployment of advanced CEA solutions in Kuwait and across the region.
Commenting on the tie-up with The Sultan Center, Ghazi Al-Hajeri, CEO of Wafra International Investment Company, concluded: “Pure Harvest’s expansion into the Kuwaiti market and its innovative partnership with TSC underscores Wafra’s thesis to invest in the agtech space. This pioneering partnership will provide the Kuwaiti market a local-for-local, sustainably-grown fresh produce offering of the highest quality. Wafra takes pride in its willingness to back regional enterprises that further enhance the local economy and provide for a more sustainable future. Our commitment encompasses many different industries and affirms the foundations that the company was built on. As a Kuwaiti consumer, I’m personally grateful to The Sultan Center for embracing the future of farming and I cannot wait to see Pure Harvest’s products in its stores.”